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Fiji: Lautoka City Urban Profile

Fiji: Lautoka City Urban Profile

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The Lautoka Urban Profiling consists of an accelerated, action-oriented assessment of urban conditions, focusing on priority needs, capacity gaps, and existing institutional responses at local and national levels. The purpose of the study is to develop urban poverty reduction policies at local, national, and regional levels, through an assessment of needs and response mechanisms, and as a contribution to the wider-ranging implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Lautoka Urban Profiling consists of an accelerated, action-oriented assessment of urban conditions, focusing on priority needs, capacity gaps, and existing institutional responses at local and national levels. The purpose of the study is to develop urban poverty reduction policies at local, national, and regional levels, through an assessment of needs and response mechanisms, and as a contribution to the wider-ranging implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.

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03/27/2014

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Lautoka City covers more than 1,600 hectares of land.
Within the city, there are three types of land tenure:
state land, iTaukei land and freehold land. Te
majority of land in the greater Lautoka urban area is
iTaukei, but inside the city boundaries most land is
either freehold or state-owned.

Administration of land depends on the land tenure
type. Freehold properties are administered entirely
by the private entity which owns the land. ITaukei
land is administered by the iTaukei Lands Trust
Board (TLTB) and state land by the Department of
Lands and Survey. The TLTB is mandated, under
the Native Lands Trust Act, to act as custodian
of iTaukei lands or lands communally owned by
indigenous landowning units. State-owned land
is administered under the Crown Lands Act. In
iTaukei villages, landowning units play a major
role in determining land use and administration
in the village. This takes place in consultation
with TLTB. Landowning units are encouraged by
MLGUDHE to engage in economic joint-ventures.
This is in accordance with the Urban Policy Action
Plan which seeks to manage and reduce the ad-hoc
release of prime iTaukei land.

Due to slow growth in physical development over
the past 20 years, Lautoka City has yet to reach its
full potential as an urban area. Tis is recognized
by LCC, the Chamber of Commerce, government
stakeholders and residents. As a result, LCC
is interested in utilizing state and iTaukei land
immediately outside the city boundary. Tese
areas are included in the proposed city boundary
extension. A notable amount of land within the city
boundaries is occupied by informal settlements. Tis
is due to landowning units releasing land for housing
development which is afordable to the urban poor.
Te cost of infrastructure provision to these lands is
borne by the settlers themselves.

Misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the legal rights
of landowning units, combined with limited knowledge of
formal development and land use processes, contributes to
the release of iTaukei land for informal housing development.
A desire by iTaukei landowners to help the needy is another
contributing factor – even if this is perceived as illegal from
a formal development perspective. Te majority of illegal
development of iTaukei land which has not been subdivided
is for housing purposes. Tis is particularly the case in the
peri-urban areas which now fall under council mandate
following extension of the city boundary.

Te level of knowledge and capacity of land development
agencies such as the TLTB, the Housing Authority and
the Department of Lands and Survey, also infuences
the way in which land is managed and developed in
Lautoka City. Tese agencies have limited staf who
are often under-qualifed or inexperienced. In addition,
there is little commitment by these agencies to staf
capacity development or institutional strengthening.

Te Department of Housing and the People’s
Community Network of Fiji have been active in
Lautoka’s informal settlements. Tis latter agency is
an NGO which operated in Fiji and supports informal
settlement residents through settlement upgrading
initiatives.

THE INSTITUTIONAL SET-UP

• Land and land developments within Lautoka City and
its peri-urban areas are administered under the Crown
Lands Act, the Lands Transfer Act, the Subdivision
of Land Act and the Native Lands Trust Act. Land
development is driven by demand. Applications for
leasing state land pass through the Department of
Lands and Surveys via its Divisional Surveyor Western
ofce. Leasing of iTaukei lands operates through the
TLTB Regional Ofce North Western, in Lautoka.
Leases are granted under the Subdivision of Land
Act which is administered by the DTCP. All physical
development, including those on freehold land are
subjected to the Town Planning Act (Cap.139).
• Determination of proposed land and building
developments is undertaken by LCC’s building,
health and environment and engineering units. On
matters of national importance and issues related to
planning standards (e.g. relaxation of standards) the
DTCP is consulted.

REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

• Land development is governed by Town
Planning Act (Cap. 139), the Subdivision
of Land Act (Cap .140), Lautoka City Town
Planning Scheme, Lautoka City Subdivision
Bylaws, the Public Health Act, the Building
Regulations, the Environmental Management
Act, the Environmental Impact Assessment
(EIA) Regulations, the Native Lands Trust Act
and the Crown Lands Act.

1919

FIJI: LAUTOKA CITY PROFILE - LAND DEVELOPM

ENT AND ADM

INISTRATION

• Tere are three types of land tenure in Lautoka City:
private land owners of freehold land; the central
government via the Department of Lands and
Survey; and the TLTB for iTaukei lands.
• All land for development must be surveyed prior to
construction. LCC enforces its subdivision bylaws
which stipulate that development is permitted
only on land that is secured and serviced by urban
infrastructure and utilities. Development on land
which has not been surveyed is an issue linked to
the limited knowledge of iTaukei landowners vis-à-
vis land development regulations and processes who
develop land without planning permission.

PERFORMANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

• All land development is recorded. Any land
development which is likely to impact the
environment must undertake an environment
impact assessment or as determined by the
Department of Environment. Undertaking
an environmental impact assessment requires
consultation with all stakeholders, including
residents and the community, as well as those

who may be affected by the proposed project.
• All areas proposed for reclamation require prior
approval based on the results of an environmental
impact assessment.

RESOURCE MOBILIZATION

• LCC plays a secondary role in land development
and administration. The primary actors are the
TLTB, Department of Lands and Survey, and the
DTCIP. The efficiency of these agencies may be
increased through the use of a database linking
the land development agencies with LCC.
• Each of the land development agencies has budget
provision for awareness raising activities related
to land development. LCC, in consultation
with the DTCP, could participate actively in the
annual Town Planning Week, along with other
municipalities in the Western Division

AGREED PRIORITIES

• Raise the awareness of landowners and
the public on the formal procedures and
processes of land administration.

• Improve existing land development
information by making it easily accessible
to the public and available in all three
languages (iTaukei, English and Hindi).

• Establish environmental management
units in the land development agencies
(i.e. the divisional ofces of the TLTB and
Department of Lands and Survey).

• Allocate ten per cent of budget to the
implementation of capital works.

PROJECT PROPOSALS

PROJECT 1

LAND DEVELOPMENT
AND ADMINISTRATION

Undertake an extensive
programme for awareness
raising on formal land
development procedures. The
programme should focus on
the Lautoka City community,
including communities in the
peri-urban areas.

PROJECT 2

LAND DEVELOPMENT
AND ADMINISTRATION

Establish an easily-accessible
GIS-based electronic database
of land information and data.

PROJECT 3

LAND DEVELOPMENT
AND ADMINISTRATION

Establish an environmental
management unit in LCC, TLTB
and the Department of Lands
and Survey

20

FIJI: LAUTOKA CITY PROFILE - URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES

20

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